Discussion of the second city ((WARNING SPOILERS))

As of 2010, Alexandria was a convincing theory for the identity of the Second City - I was an adherent of it myself! But since then, we’ve had more-or-less explicit refutation of that theory, and the prevailing wisdom is that it was Amarna. (And, I can’t presume to speak for Alexis and co., but I believe that so long as we don’t copy/paste chunks of text or spoil Fate-locked content, we’re okay!)

Yup. One NPC mentions the Duchess’ father “tearing down the gods”, and the honey dream refers to some regretful business with the Sun and a crisis averted with the pharaohs death. Therefore we must assume the pharaoh is Akhenaten, and the Second City his holy city of Akhetaten, the modern day Tell el-Amarna.

Plus IIRC someone mentions that the Second City didn’t have enough temples to be Alexandria. And another NPC says that the Duchess was long before Marc Anthony’s (i.e. Cleopatras, by association) time. This in turn means that the Second City must predate the Ptolemaic dynasty, and therefore the point in history when Alexandria became the prominent city in Egypt.

I am not sure whether Mr Veils is from Egypt - at least, I don’t think he’s the Pharaoh. But he seems to be entangled with the sorry business that occurred between the Masters and the Second City and eventuall called for the betrayal of another. But how exactly, I do not know. Maybe he IS from Egypt after all, and I’m just being skeptical for no good reason.

(Strange, though, that the times of the First City would see no Master allotted to textiles, when Mesopotamia has always been a land of spinners, weavers and cloth merchants.)

a question regarding Eaten and the Second City:

[spoiler]During its quest, is it made absolutely clear that its drowning (not the betrayal!) was at the hand of other Masters? Reading varinn’s post made me think - how did the Pharaoh learn the Correspondence?

A possible scenario is that several Masters vied for the city - the lure to them is not simply the potency of the love story which enables the initial sale, but the potential of a city entire to produce love stories of sufficient quantity and quality - they always seem to go for the capitals of empires. In any case, the Pharaoh, a Sun worshiper, sees these &quotharbingers of night&quot approach, and designs to trap one of them and extract knowledge from it - drowning it in a well (perhaps of sour beer to make it drunk, and thus obedient and confused?) beneath a temple.

Afterwards, the sale of the city is arranged; perhaps he even orchestrated the tragedy which brought about the final deal. Then, in-between stars, he moves. His daughter stops him and the city falls, but it seems The Masters, at least, are severely hampered. This necessitates a new Master brought up: Veils, who uses his unique unbound position to ensure the fall of the third city and possibly the release of the other Masters through the sacrifice of Eaten.

this would mean Eaten was betrayed not only by the Bazaar of its fellow Masters, but even by humans who it designed to deal with.[/spoiler][li]
edited by IHNIWTR on 12/16/2013

I believe the question of why Mr. Veils only appeared during the 2nd city might be relatively simple.

Our Mr. Veils is actually the second being to hold that title. The first one abandoned his position in order to …

never stop hunting. In other words he became the vake. (Perhaps the move from furs and wool to agricultural based textiles was too boring for such an aggressive individual)

It would also explain why Sinning Jenny and her order are working closely with/ keeping an eye on the current Mr Veils

Wren - I doubt it. I don’t think cloths were as big an industry in the First City to necessitate a Master.

after all, the first time they even saw Silk was when the King Of A Hundred Hearts came from china; and not long after that, the city fell.

I’d hazard fabrics probably fell under different Masters - Apples, who also deals in woods and crops in addition fruits and vegetables, and Hearts, who also deals in the byproducts of meat: leather and fleece.[li]
edited by IHNIWTR on 12/16/2013

IIRC the sour beer mentioned in some of your theories is made of corn, which would put it more along the lines of tesgüino, and therefore, the Third City.[li]

[quote=IHNIWTR]Wren - I doubt it. I don’t think cloths were as big an industry in the First City to necessitate a Master.

after all, the first time they even saw Silk was when the King Of A Hundred Hearts came from china; and not long after that, the city fell.

I’d hazard fabrics probably fell under different Masters - Apples, who also deals in woods and crops in addition fruits and vegetables, and Hearts, who also deals in the byproducts of meat: leather and fleece.[li]
edited by IHNIWTR on 12/16/2013[/quote]

True about that particular kind of fabric. But in Mesopotamia, the &quotland of reeds and clay&quot, there was little that rivalled the economic importance of cloth, as other resources were either lacking (wood, stone and ores) or unsuited to the climate. One of my professors actually pointed out that, during much of the Bronze Age up until the Seleucid times, cloth was the trade good of the Mesopotamian polities, as flax could be grown by creating a micro-climate controlled by date trees, and textile-spinning was a domestic cottage industry that both women and domestic slaves (the wardim of Akkad and the ur of Sumer) could do in their &quotspare time&quot. Plus, much like pottery (the other big market, in a land of clay) clothes need to be replaced often and are competitive in the way of fashion.

Sorry for the rant! But take it as a case for why the First City ought to have had a Mr Veils, even in case it didn’t.[/li][li]

from the rare success of the incognito Master option at the Carnival:

&quot Few in Fallen London are innocent, and you’re no exception. But you enjoy a pleasant half-hour listening to Mr Wines’ tales of previous cities: the fermented mare’s milk he sold in the Fourth, the maize-wine of the Third, the sour beer of the Second. Mr Wines presses a wax-sealed bottle on you as you leave. ‘I think you’d look charming in black,’ it says enigmatically.&quot

Ah! My apologies, then. I must have confounded the two different mentioned beers.

Another archaeological fun fact: archaeologists in Chicago tried brewing a batch of beer according to the instructions given in the Sumerian Hymn to Ninkasi. And it turns out that, given archaic distillation methods, the Sumerian beer turned out very sour. I presume that the beers of Egypt might be more sophisticated, but still pretty sour.
[li][/li][li]
edited by Nathanael S. Wells on 12/16/2013

Updated the thread a bit. Personaly i still believe Alexandria seems likely but im horrible at egyptian history.
Frederick, Can you give me a list or well something comparing the likelyhood between Alexandria and Amarna?

Personally, I think Alexandria was too late in existence to be the Second City, plus the Duchess’ obsession with cats implies to me that the city fell before Egypt’s Hellenistic conversion.

Also, when discussing the Masters, don’t forget that they’ve had many names.

True true. I just think the Serapeum seems like an awfully big coincidence.

But yeah, London had Mr’s. Karakorum had Khan’s.
Third city apperently had priest kings ruling it. Not sure if the masters whould name themself after that.
Second city, Possibly Pharaoh’s?

First city i have no idea.

[quote=Blackleaf]Updated the thread a bit. Personaly i still believe Alexandria seems likely but im horrible at egyptian history.
Frederick, Can you give me a list or well something comparing the likelyhood between Alexandria and Amarna?[/quote]

A rare success when trading Salts for Memories of Distant Shores gives us the line &quotThe Second City didn’t have nearly enough temples to be Alexandria.&quot As Mr Wells describes, this is almost certainly a reference to the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten and tried to dismantle the established institution of Egyptian polytheism in favour of worship of the sun-god Aten. In doing so, he built a new city as his capital, Akhetaten, which is now called Amarna. This would be the city with few temples - because it was the centre of the monotheist cult, and only had temples to Aten.

In real-world history, the Amarna Period ended with the ascension of Arkhenaten’s son, Tutankhaten, who changed his name to Tutankhamun, returned the capital to Thebes, and restored the traditional temples and priests. Mr Wells’ highly convincing theory that in Neathy history, Akhenaten’s third daughter Ankhesenamun became the Duchess, meaning that Tutankhamun may be the Cantigaster. Unlike Alexandria’s Antony and Cleopatra, Ankhesenamun and Tutankhamun’s story is not associated with serpents - but, where the Neath is concerned, serpents might appear unexpectedly wherever there’s a mirror!

Interesting. Obviously Alexandria whould be the first though of people when it comes to “Egyptian temples”. The Serapeum was a nice coincidence. I can see your theory working out a lot better. Now, We must resolve some of the more neathy mysteries.
I find it quite frankly hillarious that all this came from one small honey dream giving us JUST enough small answers to finaly track down the bigger answers.

That would make sense, but the story of Uncle Archibald’s legacy more or less explicitly states that the present Mr Veils is the Vake, and that the Vake is the present Mr Veils.

Personally, I suspect that it’s a simple case of the Masters’ ever-changing names and roles - that, indeed, the one who would later become Apples (for instance) held dominion over farmers and all of their goods, including the fibres they wove. (It strikes me that, in the pottery trade of the time, Mr Cups must have held considerable sway, while now he’s responsible for little more visible than rubbish-collection and knick-knacks.)

re: Mr. Cups

I think that’s the impression it gives, but not all it actually does. As Mr. Mirrors it’s essentially responsible for a huge aspect of the Bazaar interactions with Parabola; and as Mr. Chimes (which I suspect it is as well, as Cups is known to control all things clock-related) he has his own club of noteworthy individuals.

edited by IHNIWTR on 12/16/2013

I still think Mr Chimes is all of the Masters, taking turns. You’re right about Mirrors, of course - for whatever reason, Cups has another portfolio under a different identity. I wonder if it was always so…

More master discussion.

[spoiler]
Anyone else wondering just how many masters were “Original” masters? Veils was recruited around the time of the second city, Im sure some others came later too.

Also. Ive been needing to post this somewhere for a long time. (( Note: No i do not support the revolutinaries in ANY way. The liberation of night is RIDICULUS. The pure ammount of collateral damage just for a lost cause is foolish. I hope we get to side with the bazaar against those bastards. Altough, I whouldnt mind fighting against the bazaar if the masters take a turn for the tyranical. If they start fighting the PEOPLE rather then the FIGHTERS ))

[spoiler]
Honestly, The bazaar actuly seems to be at its biggest disadvantage yet. The fith city seem almost equal in strenght to the bazaar. Our technology has advanced while theirs havn’t. Now we are sophisticated, orginized, educated and armed. We have guns, we have bombs. By the time of the 7th city i wonder if the bazaar will even stand a chance against it’s &quotPrisoners&quot. We alredy know the liberation of eternal night CAN kill the bazaar. Look at how easy the bazaar crushed the 4th city. But here in London… It’s weak. Atleast equal to that of the revolutinaries and whatever else is willing to pick a fight with this genius loci.
It makes me wonder. Does the bazaar have a way to counter the revolutinaries? Do they have a way to control the city of london once and for all until we become lacre? Or is that their entire plan perhaps. To dispose of us and find a less dangerous city to keep.

Food for thought.
I for one suspect that the masters have plans. Plans for potential war, Potential attacks. Weapons to combat darkness. Plans to twist knowledge and hold their grip on London. Or just sink us down into the lacre tanks.[li]
edited by Blackleaf on 12/16/2013

[quote=Blackleaf]Also. Ive been needing to post this somewhere for a long time. (( Note: No i do not support the revolutinaries in ANY way. The liberation of night is RIDICULUS. The pure ammount of collateral damage just for a lost cause is foolish. I hope we get to side with the bazaar against those bastards. Altough, I whouldnt mind fighting against the bazaar if the masters take a turn for the tyranical. If they start fighting the PEOPLE rather then the FIGHTERS ))
[li]

  • snip -

edited by Blackleaf on 12/16/2013[/quote]

On the Bazaar vs. the Fallen Cities

[spoiler]Personally, I think the Bazaar to some extent is always vulnerable to the cities it takes. The very same city we are discussing in this thread seems to have done something to it and the Masters that they are, to this day, still significantly cross about, and which may ultimately lead to ramifications unforeseen by the Masters. After all, a reckoning will not be postponed (except for by a hiatus).

But the Bazaar and the Masters don’t deal in superior firepower. They rule by dividing and conquering, by making it appealing to be on their side and horribly unappealing to be against them. I reckon that, in close combat, a Master might make quick work of any given amount of regular Londoners, and only in the case of a hyper-powered player character with intricate knowledge of a Masters workings (and the Master at disadvantage) were we able to see the potential slaying of a Master during Hallowmas.

That said, February, being a woman of considerable enthusiasm for blood and learned in the ways of how to oppose the Masters, was able to draw blood from one (her Nemesis, Irons?) - but only that. Perhaps the Masters really are to some degree sustained or fortified by Light, and only during the Liberation of Night they grow weak enough to be killed.

As for the &quotconventional firepower&quot of the Bazaar: the Bazaar itself seems to have Correspondent properties that go beyond anything Londoners could do - being not only a native speaker of the language, but also able to project its sigils on its own skin - and it seems to have also extremely rigid personal defences. Not even during the Liberation of Night does it fall right away, there’s only an assurance that &quotthose spires will fall&quot. But when? Besides, my own theory is that the Bazaar has access to the alternate/Neath/Parabola colour specrum and has planted it among the brightest and most capable of Londoners for a reason. After all, it was said to be &quotplotting something&quot regarding the new professions. I think it is likely that, the higher we ascend in the professional tiers, the more we’ll end up realizing how much our work is helping the Bazaar keep the status quo.[/spoiler]

Now, someone with more populist politics than mine would ask whether Mr Fires needs to press-gang every able-bodied man and woman in London into the docks, or Mr Sacks needs to steal away parliament or what other relatively arbitrary measure must happen before you recognize the Bazaars &quottyranny&quot. Certainly not me, though.

[/li][li][/li][li]
edited by Nathanael S. Wells on 12/16/2013